Tom Latham played a gritty innings as Kiwis kept losing wickets from the other end © Getty Images
By Abhijit Banare
Jun 11, 2014
A gritty fifty from Tom Latham (51 not out) has helped New Zealand to extend their lead to 342 at lunch on Day Four of the First Test against West Indies. The hosts made some early inroads but Latham held the innings together. New Zealand are 96 for the loss of five wickets.
West Indies got a perfect start to the morning . In the second over of the day, Jerome Taylor’s twin strikes put the Kiwis on the backfoot. Taylor first foxed nightwatchman Ish Sodhi with a delivery that seamed away from the batsman and caught him plumb in front. But the big strike came in the next ball when Ross Taylor was caught in his crease and failed to block a fuller delivery which came back in to the right-hander. At 14 for four, the Kiwis were looking down the barrel when Latham an skipper Brendon McCullum put up a tough resistance. Kemar Roach and Taylor, the spinners too kept the batsmen in check with Suleiman Benn creating more pressure.
Windies could have seen the back of McCullum early but Chris Gayle playing in his 100th Test failed to get down in time to take a sharp slip catch of Roach’s bowling. McCullum was clever to come down the wicket and was playing forward as much as possible. Latham in the meanwhile showed patience and as he settled down, he started playing the ball late in to the gaps to keep rotating the strike. Shillingord was a touch sloppy early in his spell giving away a few short deliveries which were gleefully accepted and dispatched for fours.
McCullum and Latham put a crucial 41-run stand until Shillingford got the better of McCullum’s forward defensive push. At 55 for five, the Kiwis had a lead of 287 which was far from comfort. McCullum scored 17 in 47 balls. Latham could have been dismissed soon after but West Indies cho0se against reviewing a leg-before call turned down by the umpire.
Latham backed his 83 in the first innings with another unbeaten fifty. He reached his half-century in 132 balls and along with James Neesham, the duo have stitched an unbeaten 46-run stand. Despite early wickets, the Windies have a lot to worry as the Kiwis aim for at least 400 before giving any thought of declaring.
New Zealand 508 for 7 decl. (Kane Williamson 113 James Neesham 107; Sulieman Benn 3 for 142, Shane Shillingford 3 for 145) & 96 for 5 (Tom Latham 51*, Brendon McCullum 17; Jerome Taylor 3 for 13) lead West Indies 262 (Chris Gayle 64, Shivnarine Chanderpaul 84*, Denesh Ramdin 39; Mark Craig 4 for 91, Tim Southee 4 for 19) by 342 runs.
Catch all the latest from New Zealand’s 2014 tour of West Indies here
(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)